Letters of Intent received in 2017

LoI 2019-2002
Nuclear Activity in Galaxies Across Cosmic Time

Date: 11 March 2019 to 15 March 2019
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Contact: Mirjana Povic (mpovic@iaa.es)
Coordinating division: Division J Galaxies and Cosmology
Co-Chairs of SOC: Dr. Mirjana Povic (ESSTI)
Dr. Paola Marziani (INAF)
Dr. Hagai Netzer (Tel Aviv University)
Dr. Pheneas Nkundabakura (University of Rwanda)
Co-Chairs of LOC: Dr. Mirjana Povic (ESSTI)
Dr. Solomon Tessema Belay (ESSTI)
Mr. Alemiye Mamo Yacob (ESSTI)
Ms. Etsegenet Getachew (ESSTI)



- AGN surveys at all wavelengths: past, present, and future
- AGN host galaxies
- Various types of AGN
- Triggering and shutting off of AGN activity
- Jets, feedback, environment
- The youngest AGN and AGN evolution



Scientific Rationale:
Active galactic nuclei (AGN) play an important role in many aspects of modern cosmology. They are fundamental for understanding galaxy formation and evolution, black hole formation and growth, and the connection between the two. Multiwavelength studies by Herschel, ALMA, Planck, NuSTAR, HST and more, combined with larger and deeper AGN samples, resulted in better understanding of nuclear activity in galaxies and AGN physics across cosmic time. This improvement is the result of: better AGN selection methods and better understanding of AGN properties at all wavelengths; more precise measurements of star formation rates (SFR) and the connection between star formation (SF) and AGN activity; better testing of AGN unification; better understanding of the interplay between AGN and their host galaxies, and AGN triggering mechanisms; better measurements of supermassive black hole (SMBH) properties; observations and numerical simulation of AGN feedback; detection of AGN at higher and higher redshift, and their use as cosmological laboratories, etc.
With this conference we would like to achieve two main goals. First, we want to provide a general overview of recent findings and progress in observations, simulations, and theory of AGN from the local universe up to high redshifts. This includes the following questions:
1. What have we learnt from AGN multiwavelength studies and what can we expect from future instruments such as SKA, E-ELT, JWST, Athena, CTA, eROSITA, etc.?
2. What is the current status of the unification model of AGN? What are the components distinguishing type-1 and type-2 AGN?
3. What do we know about AGN host galaxies? What is the effect of AGN on their host galaxy and how important is AGN feedback compared with stellar feedback in the context of preserving (or not) SMBH scaling relationships at low and high redshift?
4. What is the status of AGN theory and numerical simulations regarding AGN triggering, including mergers and secular processes, AGN disks, AGN outflows and the shutting off of AGN activity?
5. How well we understand the origin of jets and their impact on galaxy evolution? What evidences do we have for AGN positive and negative feedback across cosmic time? In what kind of environments AGN reside?
6. How precisely can we measure BH mass at different redshifts?
7. What are the properties of highest-redshift AGN? What do we know about AGN evolution?
Secondly, with this conference we want to bring for the first time world experts in our field to the East-African region and contribute to the development of science in Ethiopia and Africa, which is very much needed. We want to call the attention of the international scientific community to the new activities and development of astrophysics in Sub-Saharan African countries. East-Africa is now having first generations of MSc and PhD students in astrophysics, and this international conference will be an important motivation for them, by covering the state-of-the-art in AGN physics as a whole, which is an important sub-discipline in astrophysics, and by bringing world experts in the field. To promote science in general, we plan some talks for the general public. In collaboration with the Ethiopian Space Science Society and Addis Ababa University, we will give more visibility to this event and attract the attention of the general public and undergraduate students.
In summary, we hope that this conference will improve our understanding of nuclear activity in galaxies across cosmic time. We aim at clarifying the role of nuclear activity in the broader context of galaxy evolution, outlining major unsolved problems and observational and theoretical strategies to solve them. In addition, we aim at strengthening the development of science in Ethiopia and Africa and opening new space for collaborations between Africa and other parts of the globe for the benefit of all.
Scientific Organising Committee (SOC) members:
- Dr. Mirjana Pović (ESSTI, Ethiopia and IAA-CSIC, Spain) - chair
- Dr. Paola Marziani (INAF, Italy) - co-chair
- Dr. Hagai Netzer (Tel Aviv University, Israel) - co-chair
- Dr. Pheneas Nkundabakura (Univ. of Rwanda, Rwanda) - co-chair
- Dr. Josefa Masegosa (IAA-CSIC, Spain)
- Dr. Isabel Márquez (IAA-CSIC, Spain)
- Dr. Miguel Sánchez Portal (ALMA, Chile)
- Dr. Vincenzo Mainieri (ESO, Germany)
- Dr. Sylvain Veilleux (University of Maryland, USA)
- Dr. Itziar Aretxaga (INAOE, Mexico)
- Dr. Andrew C. Fabian (University of Cambridge, UK)
- Dr. Mara Salvato (MPE, Germany)
- Dr. Lisa J. Kewley (Australian National University, Australia)
- Dr. Jian-Min Wang (Institute of High Energy Physics - CAS, China)
- Dr. Prajval Shastri (The Indian Institute of Astrophysics, India)
- Dr. Bradley M. Peterson (The Ohio State University, USA)
- Dr. Nebiha Shafi (HartRAO, South Africa)
Local Organising Committee (LOC) members:
- Dr. Mirjana Pović (ESSTI, Ethiopia and IAA-CSIC, Spain) - chair
- Dr. Solomon Tessema Belay (ESSTI, Ethiopia) - co-chair
- Mr. Alemiye Mamo Yacob (ESSTI, Ethiopia) - co-chair
- Ms. Etsegenet Getachew (ESSTI, Ethiopia) - co-chair
- Dr. Getinet Feleke (Kotebe Metropolitan University and ESSTI, Ethiopia)
- Ms. Jerusalem Tamirat (ESSTI, Ethiopia)
- Mr. Zeleke Amado Beyoro (Kotebe Metropolitan University and ESSTI, Ethiopia)
- Mr. Tilahun Getachew Woreta (Bule Hora University and ESSTI, Ethiopia)
- Ms. Tsigemariam Gezahagne (ESSTI, Ethiopia)
- Mr. Tolu Biressa (Jimma University, Ethiopia)
- Ms. Frehiwot Garomssa Engabu (ESSTI, Ethiopia)
Our proposed SOC has 17 distinguished members with expertise in all the research areas of AGN physics, who span six continents and include both senior and young researchers, of those 53% women. The LOC has overlap with organisation of the IAU MEARIM 2017 conference in Addis Ababa, beside ESSTI includes three other Ethiopian institutions, and 45% of members are women.
Gender equality and geographical distribution:
This conference will take a special care in respecting gender equality. We will strongly try to achieve 50% - 50% of female - male participation in all parts of conference organisation (starting from SOC and LOC members, invited and contributed speakers, session chairs, grant holders, etc.). We will also take a special care to have participation of experts from all geographical locations. In addition, with this conference we would like to give more visibility to African scientists. We will put efforts to bring African researchers from different Sub-Saharan countries, and make sure that this conference will contribute to the development of science in Africa, which is very much needed. Finally, regarding Ethiopian participation we will bring people from different institutions and contribute to the development of science not only in Addis Ababa, but on the national level.
The presentations will include invited reviews, invited talks, selected contributed talks and posters. The schedule will include a poster marathon and poster-viewing sessions. We will organise 2 public talks around the conference, and will try to organise 2 - 3 days tutorials for last-year undergraduate, MSc, and PhD students. To give more visibility to the recent scientific activities in astronomy and space science in Africa, and to motivate collaborations between African and international scientific community, we will organise one lunch-session/s, and provide a small exhibition space.
This conference will have the local support, including the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute under the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology.
The host institution has previous experience with organising scientific conferences and meetings (e.g., East-African Astronomical Society meeting, IAU MEARIM 2017 regional conference, and IAU ISYA 2017 school) and the capacity to host up to 160 participants. Outside of the conference, the city of Addis Ababa will provide excellent opportunities for visiting the United Nations and African Union headquarters and learning more about the current socio-economical, environmental and cultural developments and challenges of Ethiopia, region, and Africa.
Proposed editors (if we decide to have proceedings):
1. Dr. Mirjana Pović, Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; email: mpovic@iaa.es
2. Dr. Paola Marziani, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy; email: paola.marziani@oapd.inaf.it
3. Dr. Hagai Netzer, School of Physics and Astronomy and the Wise Observatory, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler, Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; email: netzer@wise.tau.ac.il
4. Dr. Prajval Shastri, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India; email: prajval.shastri@gmail.com